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There are plenty of scenarios where you might have to relocate your thermostat. For example, if you are moving into a new home, redecorating, or simply want to reposition your thermostat for improved temperature sensing accuracy.

Moving a thermostat is a bit tricky, however, if you follow the proper steps, you can get through it without calling a professional.  Our guide below offers concise and foolproof steps to get it done.

At SmartHomePerfected we always advise readers not to undertake any work they are not competent in performing and if in any doubt, it is best to seek the assistance of a professional.

Why move your thermostat?

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to move a thermostat in your home. The number one reason is of course, for comfort and convenience. You want your thermostat to be placed where you can easily access it. Alternatively, moving a thermostat may be necessary for enhancing its functionality.

For example, placing the thermostat far from the busy areas can result in incorrect temperature sensing. Inaccurate readings may result in one room being too cold while the other too warm. Therefore, positioning your thermostat correctly plays a crucial role in ensuring each room is adequately cooled or warmed. 

Inaccurate Readings

Another reason you may want to move your thermostat is that the current position may affect its readings. For example, if you place a thermostat near the kitchen or window, the heat or summer heat penetrating through the window may result in an inaccurate temperature reading. But, relocating your thermostat may also be important in other circumstances too.

For example, if you are moving or redecorating your home, you may have to remove the thermostat and install it elsewhere – thus, having these skills comes in handy and helps avoid calling a repair guy.

Step-by-Step Guide on how to move your thermostat

Step 1 – Turn the power off

Like any other electronic tool, you have to turn the power off before reinstalling your thermostat. Start by turning any power supply to your HVAC system or your home’s power supply off, if possible. After this, check to confirm all components are off. Alternatively, turn off the mains circuit breaker, so the entire system is safe to come in contact with.

Step 2 – Uninstall the thermostat

After turning the power off, the next step is uninstalling the thermostat. To do this, use a screwdriver to unscrew the lid and take the interface out of the back panel attached to the wall.  Depending on the thermostat’s design, you may not even need a screwdriver. 

Remember that the interface is the brain of the thermostat. So, you want to be extra careful when handling it to prevent any possible damage.  Before removing the wiring, take a photo of the current wiring in case you need guidance during rewiring after moving the thermostat. You should also label each wire to be extra sure.

After this, remove the wires from the terminal and proceed with unscrewing the back lid. Again, depending on the design of the thermostat, you can unravel the wires using your fingers. Alternatively, use a small pair of pliers to remove them.

Step 3 – Unscrew the back plate

After removing the terminals, remove the back lid from the wall. To do so, first pull the plate away, ensuring you can remove all the wires attached to the wall. Then, pull out the backplate completely until it is all out.

Step 4 – Chase Wires & Install the thermostat in the new location

This step involves the actual moving of your thermostat from the old location to the new one. This step has three sub-stages. These include:

Drilling Holes

The first sub-step involves drilling an entirely new hole where you will install the thermostat. To ensure you don’t end up ruining your walls, measure the dimensions from the older location before you begin drilling. Taking the proper measurements into consideration also makes it easy to connect the wires. When done, attach the back lid to the wall.

Wiring Process

The wiring process simply involves getting the wires ready for the connection. To do so, move the wires to the newly drilled location by using a fishing wire or any wire with a hook.  Pass the wires through the back lid.

If the new location is in a remote part of your home or further away from the HVAC system, you will have to extend the wiring. Unless you are an electrician, the latter process is better done with the help of an HVAC professional.

Making Connections

The last step involves making the final connections so your thermostat can start running.  This step is where the photo you previously took comes in handy as you will have to make the connections precisely as in the photo. Use the photo to guide you through connecting the wires to the terminal.

Step 5 – Fit the thermostat back into the wall

After you are done with the wiring process, cross-check all the terminal connections with the photo you took from the previous location. Once you are satisfied, you can screw the thermostat back into the wall.

Start by attaching the terminals inside the casing and then attach the faceplate securely using a screwdriver. Once done, you can turn the power on at the main supply or circuit breaker, depending on where the power was turned off. Turn the thermostat on and test it out to ensure it works.

Ideal Thermostat Location

Remember, for your thermostat to function properly and accurately, its position is critical. Some of the disadvantages of placing your thermostat in an unsuitable location include uneven heating or cooling in the house and high energy costs. Thus, there are ideal places to mount your thermostat in your home and areas you want to avoid at all costs.

Ideal locations for placing your thermostat include:

  • Interior wall – This area typically boasts a temperature that accurately represents the average environment inside your home.
  • Living room – Rooms in the house such as the living room are frequently used. Therefore, they offer a perfect location for determining comfortable temperature needs.
  • Five feet above the floor – Putting the thermostat lower than 5 feet above the floor can leave it susceptible to inaccurate heat sensing. This is because the heat generated inside your home tends to rise. Thus, the thermostat can pick up a more realistic temperature at this height as the heat would’ve dissipated.

Areas you want to avoid placing the thermostat include:

  • Near doors and windows – The outside heat or cool air may penetrate through the doors or windows to give your thermostat an inaccurate reading.
  • Areas exposed to direct sunlight – When the sun hits the thermostat, it will affect its functioning.
  • Near the bathroom or kitchen – The steam or heat generated in these rooms will affect how the thermostat picks up the surrounding temperature.
  • Other areas that can pose inaccurate reading problems include exterior walls, rarely used rooms, cold or warm hallways, above or near vents, or HVAC systems.

The Verdict

The placement of your thermostat plays a crucial role in ensuring it performs properly and, of course, that you save on energy costs. Nonetheless, to take advantage of this, you have to know how to move a thermostat so you can put yours in the ideal location.


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